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From Middle English lawyer, lawer, equivalent to law +‎ -yer.



lawyer ‎(plural lawyers)

  1. A professional person qualified (as by a law degree and/or bar exam) and authorized to practice law, i.e. conduct lawsuits and/or give legal advice.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter II, The Younger Set:
      His forefathers had been, as a rule, professional men—physicians and lawyers; his grandfather died under the walls of Chapultepec Castle while twisting a tourniquet for a cursing dragoon; an uncle remained indefinitely at Malvern Hill; [].
  2. By extension, a legal layman who argues points of law.


Derived terms[edit]


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See also[edit]


lawyer ‎(third-person singular simple present lawyers, present participle lawyering, simple past and past participle lawyered)

  1. (informal) To practice law.
  2. To perform, or attempt to perform, the work of a lawyer.
  3. To make legalistic arguments.
  4. With "up", to acquire the services of a lawyer.
  5. (colloquial, criminal law) With "up", to exercise the right to ask for the presence of one's attorney.
  6. To barrage with questions in order to get the person to admit something, usually used in the past tense "[You've been] lawyered."

Related terms[edit]



  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. "Lawyer, n."